How to Create Your Own Pattern with Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to create your own pattern with Adobe Illustrator from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.


This is how you create your own pattern in Adobe Illustrator. So when you're in the illustrator one of the things you may want to do is create a pattern or something that you may use that's repeated over and over again. And the purpose of which might be for creating wallpaper, some people create patterns for print. If it's for apparel, they use it for many different reasons. Now just a basic set up, lets say we have this grid of squares, now I'm going to zoom in just so we can get a better look at it. It's basic, nothing special about it, just a grid of squares. Now lets say we want to be able to apply this grid to just about anything that we put on the stage.

So lets put this over here just so we can see. What we would do is we would select this grid, and we would head over to our window panel. And in the brushes panel, we go to window, go to brushes, we can click the new group or new brush option that's down at the bottom. We'll click that, and you can create a pattern brush. We click OK we'll be presented with a new window, and in this window we can select our pattern options. Now you'll notice that it shows a direction, in this window that the pattern will flow. And it basically shows the spacing, now you have three options that you want to work with. You have stretch to fit, add space to fit, and approximate path. If you look closely in the window when you click on these you'll see how it adjusts. Right now it's taking the square and it's stretching it so that it fits the exact shape of this path. If you add space what it will do is if the square is not exactly a square fully in its orientation, or whatever the shape is, it will add space so that it fits better to the actual path of the pattern. And then approximate path is when the actual computer itself will guess the distance that's needed for the path itself.

Then you can click okay, let's clicks stretch to fit, click okay. Lets say if we were to say, select our pen tool, we were to click here, click here, click here, and let's say that this was a stroke. And we were to look in our brushes window, you'll notice that the pattern is now in this window. If we were to click it we now have a pattern that's along that stroke. You'll also notice that if you were to go to window, click pattern options, this is the option window to actually change your pattern. Now lets see, you can click make pattern, and it will add that pattern that we've just created to the window and it will base this pattern upon a grid or click by row, and you'll notice that it changes as we adjust it. Or by column, hex by column. There's different options, we can change width, so that it contracts. Same thing with the height, and then you can size the tiles so that it scales to the actual artwork.

You can move the tile with the art, you can do any of these things with it, it gives you a whole array of options. You just got to fool around with it, once you fool around with it, you become more familiar with it. You can change how copies are laid out, you can do it 7 by 3, 9 by 1. You'll see if you do it 1 by 1, you'll see it's just the one. But this is how you go over in rows and columns in the copies. You can see how these are overlapped in one another, so you just play around with these options in your pattern options. So that's how you create your own pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

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